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Halloween & Día de Muertos Resources

The Library of Congress is home to an array of resources on the folk customs, fine art, pop culture, and literature of Halloween and Día de Muertos. Collections range from classic film clips to recordings of storytellers, and more.

Introduction

Douglas DeNatale, photographer. Children's Halloween parade, Lowell, Massachusetts. 1987. Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

The Library of Congress is home to an array of resources on the folk customs, fine art, pop culture, and literature of Halloween and Día de Muertos. Collections include classic film clips from "The Bride of Frankenstein," "Nosferatu," and "Carnival of Souls;" audio recordings of traditional storytellers spinning yarns about ghosts and witches; and recorded readings by authors playfully blending the living with the dead, such as Álvaro Enrigue’s Muerte súbita, Valeria Luiselli’s Los ingrávidos, and Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo. There is even documentation of spooky séances with the great Harry Houdini, iconic artwork of Edward Gorey and José Guadalupe Posada, and the timeless poetry of Robert Burns and Rafael Campos.

In addition to the links below, follow the select from the categories in the left navigation menu to explore highlights from the Library's print and media collections, webcasts from some of our most recent Halloween-related events, and blog posts featuring some of the Library's most unique materials.

October 26 - November 4, 2020

Community Altar/Ofrenda in the Hispanic Reading Room

The Library's Hispanic Division will commemorate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with a socially distant altar to individuals who have passed away in 2020. Anyone can send names of colleagues, friends, or family members who have died this year using our Ask a Librarian service and indicate an earthly object they would leave for that individual. The Hispanic Division will accumulate a list of people's names and offerings and include the list on the physical altar pictured.

Learn more about Día de los Muertos, as celebrated in Oakland, CA

Community Altar/Ofrenda 2020 in the Hispanic Reading Room. 2020. Photo courtesy of Suzanne Schadl. Library of Congress Hispanic Division.